Western IL Correctional Guard Seeks Acquittal, New Trial in Civil Rights Deprivation Case

By Benjamin Cox on November 15, 2022 at 6:15pm

A former Western Illinois Correctional Center prison guard convicted in August of violating the civil rights of a prisoner is seeking an acquittal and new trial.

54 year old Todd Sheffler of Mendon was convicted of 5 counts in August by a federal jury in relation to his role in the beating death of 65 year old Larry Earvin at the Mt. Sterling prison facility over 4 years ago. The former Corrections lieutenant was found guilty of conspiracy to deprive civil rights, tampering with a witness, destruction or falsification of records, intimidation or force against a witness, and depriving Earvin of his civil rights. It was Sheffler’s second trial on the charges after a separate jury in April was hung up on the charges but convicted fellow former guard 31 year old Alex Banta of Quincy on similar charges.

According to federal court records and documents, Sheffler’s attorneys filed motions on November 7th in federal court in Springfield saying there was insufficient evidence to support Sheffler’s conviction and that federal prosecutors repeated several acts of alleged misconduct throughout the second trial.

The court has not yet scheduled a date to hear the motions in open court. Sheffler is due to be sentenced on January 6th. Sheffler was ordered detained until sentencing after his conviction in August.